Stallions keep streak alive
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Luis Diaz (15) celebrates with Raul Arzola after Arzola scored the Stallions’ second goal of a 4-3 victory Friday.
With a goal with less than five minutes left in the match, the Madera South Stallions boys soccer team extended its home unbeaten streak to 25 matches and, most importantly, kept its chances of winning the County/Metro Athletic Conference championship alive.
The Stallions got a penalty kick goal from David Salas, his second goal of the match, in the 75th minute to pull out a 4-3 victory Friday at Madera South.
“It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win,” head coach Enrique Garcia said. “Memorial changed their tactics and made it difficult for us in the second half. Mistakes were made on both ends and we were able to get the win at the end.”
The Stallions led 2-1 heading into the halftime break despite dominating most of the match.
“We kept moving the ball well,” Garcia said. “But, when we went to their offensive third, we were too crammed in the middle. It didn’t create enough space for us. We had to have players move out wide and it gave us more looks.”
The Stallions controlled the attacks for most of the first half. In he first minute, Salas got the ball on the left, but his shot was blocked by the Memorial goalkeeper. The ensuing corner kick was blocked out of bounds and the next corner kick was cleared.
Raul Arzola received a ball in front, but his touch went out of bounds. David Vasquez got a breakaway in the seventh minute. He dribbled once and shot on goal. His shot was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Finally, the Stallion struck in the 10th minute. Salas dribbled by a defender at midfield and took the ball down the sideline. He let loose a 20-yard shot that went by a diving goalkeeper for Madera South’s first goal of the match.
In the ninth, minute, Memorial got in front of a defender on the left and shot inside the left post for the goal.
Madera South regained the lead in the 30th minute. On a free kick from about 35 yards out, the ball went to Luis Diaz in the middle. He sent the ball to the front and Arzola headed the ball past the goalkeeper for a 2-1 lead.
Madera South had a chance to extend the lead in the 32nd minute from the right at about 10 yards out. The ball was blocked out back to Christian Meza on the right. He sent the ball back to Vasquez in front, but his shot was caught.
Memorial tied the match in the 15th minute of the second half.
“They got a good look. We fell asleep and we were flat and they took advantage,” Garcia said.
With 10 minutes left in the match, Arzola gave the Stallions a 3-2 lead.
“We were transition, the ball went up top and we sent it wide,” Garcia said. “We got the ball to the middle and Raul put it away. It was a well-worked team goal.”
However, Memorial tied the match moments later.
“We made a mistake alone and they put it away,” Garcia said.
The Stallions then earned a foul inside the goalkeepers’ box, resulting in a penalty kick. Salas put the kick away for a 4-3 lead.
“Knowing we had a lot of young players in, we have to understand a simple mistake can cost us the match,” Garcia said of his instruction s in the last minutes of the match.
With the win, the Stallions are tied with Sanger for the top spot in the CMAC with two matches left.
“We have been playing hurt,” Garcia said. “We had seven players injured. We didn’t expect to make that many mistakes to get the victories. Some of the players stepped to secure the win.”